Resource Fiber Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David M. Knight, CBI
Co-Founder; President/CEO; Investor; Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

David is a Certified Business Intermediary known for the development of new business segments with an emphasis on sustainability and delivering strong bottom line results. 

He is a strategic visionary with a track record of innovative problem-solving in high growth and challenging environments. As President/CEO of Resource Fiber, David sets the company’s strategic vision and development strategies, establishing values and building company culture, raising and allocating capital, and business development.

David also co-founded Teragren Fine Bamboo Flooring, Panels & Worktops in 1998 with his wife and business partner, Ann Knight.  Together, the Knights pioneered and developed the bamboo flooring industry in the U.S. to create a complementary raw material to wood and an alternative to petroleum-based products.  David managed growth capital raises through equity and debt, maintained a twelve-year relationship with one factory group in China, and grew revenue at a rate of 20% to 40% annually through 2008 achieving $21MM in annual revenue. Teragren is now the nation’s industry leader and consumer brand, setting the U.S. standard for quality bamboo building products through stringent manufacturing specifications and continuous product innovation.

During David’s tenure at the company, he was a finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009.  Between July 2011 and July 2013, David operated in a retained consulting role only and as a member of the Board.  He was re-elected to the Board in 2013 for another two year term which ended January 2015, and is a major shareholder.

Prior to Teragren, the Knights founded Medical Dental Development Services (MDDS) which specialized in medical practice valuations, sales, mergers and consolidations completing transactions valued in excess of $75MM.

Several speaking engagements include:

Driving Change:  Building a Sustainable Business from Scratch at Credit Suisse’s Young Investors Organization Conference 2014

The Big Raise (Exploring Raises from $20M to $50M+ at the Sustainatopia Impact Conference 2014

Member:  M&A Source, International Business Brokers Association (IBBA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann J. Knight
Co-Founder; CCO/EVP; Investor; Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

Ann articulates and manages the Resource Fiber message and value proposition to the market and other constituents. In this role, she sets the public relations and communications strategy. As a member of the executive team, Ann is a key contributor to the development of strategic direction for the company.

Ann also co-founded Teragren Fine Bamboo Flooring, Panels & Worktops in 1998 with her husband and business partner, David Knight.  As the company’s Global Brand Director, Ann built a leading consumer brand, rated #1 in the hardwood flooring category by Consumer Reports.  In addition, she delivered strategic, high-impact, and sustainable solutions for the company’s collateral.

Prior to Teragren, the Knights founded Medical Dental Development Services (MDDS) which specialized in medical practice valuations, sales, mergers and consolidations completing transactions valued in excess of $75MM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marsha G. Folsom
Co-Founder; CDO, Governmental Affairs/Economic Development; Investor; Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

Marsha is a life-long resident and a former First Lady of Alabama.  She has been recognized in Alabama for her advocacy in support of improving the lives of Alabama’s children through better services and improved educational opportunities. As Alabama’s First Lady, she convened the state’s first Summit for Children which was dedicated to finding ways to improve the future for Alabama’s children.

At Resource Fiber, Marsha works closely with Alabama municipalities, economic development authorities, State of Alabama departments and U.S. federal agencies to promote the benefits of commercial scale bamboo farming and product manufacturing to reinvigorate the economy of under-served areas of Alabama.  Working in conjunction with David Knight, President/CEO, she is also creating key relationships with strategic contacts, landowners and investors.

In 2006, Marsha founded Marsha Folsom, INC., a business development consulting firm. Her consulting clients included international companies based in India seeking business in the US, a national governmental affairs firm based in Washington, D.C., and a law firm in Birmingham, Alabama.

In addition, Marsha is a co-founder of Alabamboo Partners LLC, which was established to promote the growing and manufacturing of bamboo in Alabama.

In 2000, Marsha was the Democratic Nominee for Congress from Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District. She was the first woman candidate in her state to raise over a million dollars for a political campaign. In 2002, she was chosen to lead the Alabama Democratic Party as its Executive Director. In addition, Marsha has been elected to represent the state of Alabama at three Democratic National Conventions.

Marsha’s private sector experience includes banking, insurance, real estate and business development. While working in the public sector, she has focused on economic development, education, and community development.  She has experience in the education sectors of K-12 and post-secondary as well as working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in forming a multi-state education consortium while representing the Tennessee River Valley Association, a multi-state economic development group.

Currently, Marsha serves on the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Pledge Foundation, the Executive Board of the Alabama Archives and History Foundation as well as the Board of Directors of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life housed at the American Village in Montevallo, Alabama.  She has also been inducted into the Women of the Capstone Society at The University of Alabama. 

Marsha holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama School of Human Environmental Sciences, from which she received the Agnes Ellen Harris Distinguished Alumnae Award.

LinkedIn + Citi Get Connected video series.

Member:  Leadership Alabama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leland “Lee” Slaven
CEO, Manufacturing; Investor

A Tool & Die Maker, Lee brings manufacturing, production and processing expertise to the company coupled with skills necessary to develop patented technology.

He has vast experience within the manufacturing industry from tool-making to 20 years developing and building special machinery, dies, plastic injection molds and molding.  In addition, Lee brings mechanical knowledge of machines and tools, including their design, uses, repair and maintenance.  He has knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Prior to 2010, Lee was the Director of Research & Development at Teragren Bamboo for several years.  In this capacity, he worked closely with Teragren’s manufacturing partner in China and with the design and engineering teams developing new products including bamboo industrial products.

Lee is an inventor of manufacturing processes for engineered bamboo products that have issued U.S. patents and of other bamboo products that have U.S. patents pending – all currently either owned or licensed by Resource Fiber.

As founder of Bamboo Structural Products LLC (BSP), Lee designed and developed bamboo railroad ties.  He directed the development of bamboo railroad ties through his tenure at BSP and Teragren and is continuing to refine the design at Resource Fiber.  Prior to BSP, Lee founded GutterArt LLC after his invention of an embossed standard rain gutter, fascia and crown molding for the building industry worldwide. 

      

Roger Lewis 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Lewis
CEO, Agriculture
Investor; Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

Roger developed and currently manages the company’s nursery program as COO, Agriculture.  He provides management and financial expertise with regards to all aspects of growing and harvesting bamboo.  With over 20 years of growing bamboo for retail markets, Roger brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the company. He is a second generation bamboo nurseryman and owner of Lewis Bamboo located in Oakman, Alabama. Lewis Bamboo is recognized as one of the top producers of bamboo in North America due to its proprietary propagating and growing techniques. How Bamboo Grows courtesy of Lewis Bamboo.

In addition, Roger is a Board member of Black Belt Bamboost (BBB), a community-based project designed to raise awareness about bamboo in Alabama and showcase the diversity of this plant, and its associated applications. Through this initiative, he and BBB have developed a public park to showcase bamboo. In addition, Roger has worked extensively with various universities and researchers to explore bamboo as an alternative resource. From nanowhiskers to bamboo emission filters for vehicles, he has contributed to many research endeavors.  Roger received a B.S. in business management from the University of Alabama where he graduated with honors. 

 

Mary Valenta, DBA, CPA
CEO, On The Green, LLC
Investor; Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

With a Doctorate in Global Business Sustainability, Dr. Valenta has extensive experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, risk management, turnaround consulting, and business process re-engineering.  She has served on corporate boards in steel and printing processing and distribution industries.  Her executive leadership experience includes steel, food, and telecommunications industries in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, and franchising sectors.  She has worked with privately held and publicly traded companies.

As Chief Executive Officer of On The Green, LLC, Dr. Valenta leads alternative energy start-up projects, strategic advising, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing consulting.  As Chief Financial Officer of a $3 billion steel company, she raised nearly $500 million in capital to acquire 11 entities, established a holding company, and created cross-entity functional councils to promote synergetic growth in increasing sales, productivity, and financial returns.  Leading strategic planning, Valenta facilitated and managed corporate goals and on-going action plans, and oversaw implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley fundamentals.  As Treasurer with a multi-national telecommunications manufacturer, Valenta completed Securities and Exchange Commission informational reporting.  With a Big 4 international accounting firm, she managed turnaround projects, business valuations, fraud examinations, insurance claim assessments, and audit clients.

Dr. Valenta’s dissertation, a Business Case of Electric Vehicles for Truck Fleets, explores the economic, environmental, and social risks, costs, and benefits of operating diesel, natural gas, and electric trucks.  Her findings concluded that use of electric fuel improves national security, reduces economic risks, and improves use of alternative energy and social responsibility.  As co-author of CFO Leadership Strategies, Valenta proposes balancing short-term actions with long-term goals in the manufacturing sector.

At the lecture podium, Dr. Valenta presents a tribute to America’s entrepreneurial spirit, full of anecdotes and radical business philosophy focusing on the roles of change management and strategic planning in bringing issues of sustainability to the business world.

Dr. Valenta received a Doctorate of Business Administration in Global Business Sustainability from Argosy University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Pfeiffer University.  She is a Certified Public Accountant since 1988 and is currently a fellow at On the Board, a women’s leadership program through George Washington University’s School of Business and the International Women’s Forum that promotes women for corporate board roles.

Dr. Valenta is a Commissioner on the Economic Development Authority for the City of Fairfax, VA; chairs the Transportation Committee of a Smart Growth initiative; assists the Mason Enterprise Center in strategic projects; chairs a fundraiser for Historic Fairfax City, Inc.; and manages a non-profit program she founded that supports sustainability projects internationally in impoverished communities.  She helped create a mentor-protégé program with a Native American tribe for the metals industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Bryant
Land Asset Manager
Investor; Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

As the company’s Land Asset Manager, Scott manages the infrastructure and security of its bamboo nurseries and other company-owned or leased farm lands as well as the relationships with Alabama farmers and landowners. 

In 2001, Scott founded Cyprus Partners LLC for the redevelopment of urban properties. To date, he has redeveloped approximately $175MM in commercial real estate. 

Currently, Scott is co-developing 20 Midtown, which opened a Publix in downtown Birmingham.  20 Midtown also includes 360 residential apartments along with an additional 50,000 ft of Retail.         Other projects include:  Soho Square, The Aloft Hotel and Broadway Park located in Homewood, a suburb south of Birmingham, Alabama.

In addition, Cyprus Partners has a Land Brokerage division which represents buyers and sellers of rural land.  Clients include private landowners as well as corporate clients such as Hancock Timber Resource Group, Forest Investment Associates and The Campbell Group, all of which selected Cyprus Partners to manage the sale of timberland for their pension fund investor clients.  Cyprus Partners has brokered over 175,000 acres of land in 9 states.    

 Meet our Advisors.